a cat looks at pennies that its owner counts during the New Zealand recession

Yes or No to Pet Insurance During a Shallow Recession?


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The New Zealand Herald says there’s “no recession”, The Wall Street Journal describes it by saying our “economy contracted” and The Financial Review says, “New Zealand’s recession is a warning for the rest of world.” Whichever way you look at it, it’s a good time to consider buying cover rather than making plans to cancel pet insurance. Let’s explore why here…

Pet insurance can be a saving grace in two key ways during a financial crisis.

Firstly, a pet insurance policy protects your money by paying for unexpected and often large vet bills. Secondly, knowing you have this type of buffer brings peace of mind that’s very welcome during any period of financial instability.

Seems simple, and it is.

A woman is laying on a bed with her dog next to her laptop, contemplating whether to buy pet insurance in light of the New Zealand recession.

Cancel or buy pet insurance in a New Zealand recession?

With New Zealand having been in a technical recession for a wee bit, we’ve all been doing checks on our financial situations and looking at ways to shed the load.

Even now we’re hopefully moving past it, potentially having taken a little turn for the better, the cost of living is significant and saving is always something that requires effort.

Ditching insurance can add to your financial risk

Often the first expenses to go are those that don’t seem to have any immediate effect. For example, those who are already insured might decide to drop their car insurance, health insurance or pet insurance. But there are several reasons this could be a bad move.

For one, cancelling your insurance policies puts you in even more of a precarious situation.

If you have a car accident you could blow your life savings on the repair expenses and legal fees. If you get sick you won’t be able to co-pay for private medical expenses and/or you’ll have to endure the public health waiting list. Likewise, if you cancel your pet insurance you’ll be alone if those double or triple digit vet bills strike.

Beyond that, if the vet bill is for a health condition rather than an accident, your pet won’t be covered for the condition if you sign up again. Similar to health insurance for humans, pre-existing conditions aren’t covered by pet insurance.

A woman is putting a coin into a piggy bank to save money for unexpected vet expenses for her pet cat but wonders whether she should rather buy pet insurance for a better financial safety net?

How much is it to buy pet insurance, recession or not?

When you buy anything, whether it’s food, a magazine or pet insurance, you’ll want to know what it costs. During a New Zealand recession, the need to know this information takes on a keenness of its own. Spending thoughtfully across all living costs is an especially wise action plan in an uncertain economic environment.

Spending thoughtfully isn’t just about spending the right amount, it’s also about choosing wisely and spending on the right things. For example, buying a low-cost, high value pet insurance plan during the New Zealand recession could be the best way to shore up some of your financial insecurity.

While you might think that savings could win in a battle between pet insurance vs savings, savings can be seriously depleted quickly – even with just one pet accident or illness. Unlike your pet insurance plan limit, your bank account doesn’t automatically top up again each year.

Find out how expensive pet insurance is and you’ll realise it may be about the same as a cup of coffee a day, depending on your pet’s breed and age.

The cost of no pet insurance protection in a recession

Pet insurance can be a bigger safety net for your pocket and your pet’s health than the human health care system is for us. That’s because we can still access a broad range of subsidised medical treatments whereas this isn’t the case for vet bills.

The reality is that of the 2,000 pet insurance customers PD Insurance recently surveyed, 12% have put pets to sleep in the past for two reasons. Firstly, they didn’t have the money to pay for the treatment costs (this can easily happen in unexpected circumstances like a New Zealand recession). Secondly, they didn’t have pet insurance at the time.

A dog is being examined by a veterinarian for a routine check-up.

Vet bills can cost a lot because overheads are high

In the case of a New Zealand recession, pet owners aren’t the only ones who could suffer financially. The costs involved in running a vet clinic are extremely high because, as we explore in our World Vet Day article, they are mini hospitals.

They cater to a large range of speciality areas of health, like dentistry, optometry, surgery and more, as well as to more than one species, like cats, dogs and birds. The reality is that only a minor portion of expensive vet bills go towards paying staff, with most of it covering running costs.

Those bills can increase during a New Zealand recession

During a New Zealand recession, these already high costs increase further for things like importing medicine and equipment, and local transportation of such and other vet clinic materials. So is pet insurance worth it? Even in a recession?

If we want to look at the nitty gritty of if you should buy or cancel a pet insurance policy when the economy is weak, take a look at some common pet insurance claims paid, along with some vet treatment costs. Up next.

A dog wearing a cone on its head sits in a vet clinic with its family who are relieved they didn't cancel their pet insurance in light of the New Zealand recession.

Common pet insurance claims

Common pet insurance claims give you insights into the type of costs you could be paying yourself if you cancel a pet insurance plan. This is valuable to know at any point in time, but perhaps even more so in a New Zealand recession.

  • Top 3 pet insurance claims for cats in 2023

For cats, the 10 top pet insurance claims last year included bite wounds, abscesses and diarrhoea. One cat’s vet bill for bite wounds came to $8,792. The customer had our Accident plan that covers up to $5,000 and PD Insurance paid the benefit in full.

  • Top 3 pet insurance claims for dogs in 2023

Dogs’ top three claims (read that ☝ highlighted article for the other seven) included skin allergies, ear infections and gastro. Surprisingly, one dog’s gastro bill came to $12,630. The customer had our accident and illness plan, which meant PD Insurance paid $10,000 of the bill.

Are you ready to pay a vet bill without insurance?

In our recent survey of 2,000 pet insurance customers, 48% would be “very concerned” if they were without pet insurance and needed to pay a $1,000+ vet bill in the next three months. That says a lot about the financial soft landing pet insurance can provide.

It’s a central reason pet owners are choosing pet insurance for cats and dogs. But as we mentioned there’s another: it reduces stress. Imagine not having free health care. You might start worrying all the time about what could go wrong and how much it would cost. The skill, education and equipment used by vets to treat pets is on par with that needed in human medicine.

Making the decision to buy pet insurance when the economy is weak or unstable makes a lot of financial sense, not to mention common sense.

A girl is holding a grey cat in her arms.

More benefits of pet insurance in a New Zealand recession

Recessions, like the one that jolted all of us in New Zealand into sitting bolt upright, come and go. Pet insurance plans shouldn’t because if you don’t cancel your pet insurance and continue to pay it on time, then your pet gets lifetime cover.

That’s a whopping bonus considering most pet ailments really make themselves apparent as pets age. However, as we’ve mentioned before, getting pet insurance when your fur baby already has a condition means no cover for that particular issue. That’s a loss you can avoid for your pet and your pocket, if you buy pet insurance now – to stave off another New Zealand recession and personal financial shifts like a drop in income.

Here are some added benefits to having PD Pet Insurance protection, whether there’s a recession or not:

  • Award winning cover. PD is a multi-award-winning pet insurance provider
  • Great customer service. PD gets great reviews (and wins awards) for prioritising customer service
  • Fast claims turnaround. We strive to reimburse you for vet bills within two business days of making a claim
  • Free insurance. You get one (or more) months of FREE pet insurance when you sign up online
  • Multiple pet discount. If you insure two or more pets we give you a multi pet discount on your premium
  • Three plans. Choose from three cat insurance or dog insurance plans to suit you and your pet
  • Switching fee cover. We pay up to $150 in switching fees per pet when you join PD from another insurer
  • No waiting periods. We waive waiting periods when you switch to PD from an insurer you’ve been with for 12+ months

Move over New Zealand recession, high quality, low cost pet insurance is here to wipe away worries and help stabilise the safety you provide your pets. Click below for a quick and easy quote.

Sources: NZ Herald, The Wall St Journal, The Financial Review

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